The Green Bay Packers pulled off a stunner of a move Tuesday with the release of Jordy Nelson. While the Packers added tight end Jimmy Graham in another surpirse move, there’s still a hole that must be filled at the wide receiver position. There’s still a possibility that the Packers could bring Nelson back at a cheaper rate, but if they don’t they may want to consider signing Jordan Matthews.
In 2017 for the Buffalo Bills, Matthews had his worst year as a pro. He caught only 25 passes for 282 yards and one touchdown. To be fair, plenty of that had to do with injuries and the inconsistencies at the quarterback position for the Bills. There will be none of that in Green Bay with Aaron Rodgers at the helm.
Last season, Nelson finished third on the Packers with 53 receptions for 483 yards and six touchdowns. But let’s remember that Rodgers only played seven games. Maybe that had something to do with Nelson’s numbers, maybe it didn’t, but if the Packers are looking for another veteran player for cheap and with a chip on his shoulder, Matthews is the guy.
In his first three seasons in the NFL with the Eagles, Matthews would catch 225 passes for 2,673 yards and 20 touchdowns with an average of 11.9 yards per catch. Add Matthews to a core of playmakers that includes Graham, Davante Adams, and Randall Cobb, and that awful year he had in Buffalo will be forgotten. This is the magic of playing with Rodgers.
Moving away from Nelson allowed the Packers to free up over $10 million in cap space. According to Spotrac, the market value for Matthews is $8.8 million but the Packers may be able to get him for cheaper than that. Players who want to win will take the risk of lowering their value just to get a ring. And, the Packers can use the Eagles’ success that Matthews was not a part of to do that.
Nelson will be missed in Green Bay but the show must go on. The Packers are loading up on both ends of the ball this offseason but the subtraction of Nelson should equal the addition of Matthews.